Lyra classless or not?

(77 Posts)
Babygruffalosmum Mon 14-Jan-13 12:44:22

My little girl is already called Lyra. I think it's beautiful. Just want to know whether people think it's one of those names that you can tell what social background they come from. So let me know what it makes you think. stupidly bloody read an article about teachers name stereotyping and got worried

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Mon 14-Jan-13 12:53:30

Lyra - classless I think.

The one I know, her parents are fairly well off, both have good jobs, they have a nanny, both come from 'good' backgrounds. She's American, he's English. Little girl is now 3.

I wouldn't know if it's classless but it is a beautiful name - good choice! If I saw that name on a class list I'd think, 'How pretty! I wonder if her parents took it from Northern Lights? I guess they read...hmm...I wonder if Philip Pullman invented the name...?' See, this is why I don't achieve too much - too easily distracted.

It's a beautiful name. Good for you and little Lyra!

DonderandBlitzen Mon 14-Jan-13 12:55:47

I would think Middle or Upper Class, but it wouldn't be out of place anywhere i don't think. It is indeed beautiful.

FranglaisMadam Mon 14-Jan-13 13:27:07

Classless I think. Doesn't make me think 'chavs' but neither does it make me think Middle or Upper Class. Sophie Dahl and Jamie Cullum have a daughter called Lyra.

Was that article in the Daily Mail today? I read the same one I think.

Babygruffalosmum Mon 14-Jan-13 13:42:43

Franglais-Yeah it was. Although I can see that some names do make you think certain things, sad but true. I was a bit shocked that teachers were acting upon those stereotypes prior to meeting children. Then I was a bit concerned because Lyra is an unusual name, I did first see it in Northern Lights then researched it and fell in love. I just wouldn't want her to experience prejudice because of it.

Thank you lovely people! I really do adore her name and she really suits it. grin

FranglaisMadam Mon 14-Jan-13 13:51:39

That article was a load of b****cks in my opinion anyway, a lot of the names on there are not common at all - not exactly up there with the myriad of Alfies and Archies and Graces. Also put the teachers in a bad light in my opinion.

Babygruffalosmum Mon 14-Jan-13 14:02:12

Most of the stuff in the daily mail is b****cks. It just irritated me, there was a teacher before who said something similar publicly and got highly criticised. You'd think if they thought a child was from a low social background or had 'stupid' parents that they'd be more inclined to give a bit more positive reinforcement and not just write out detention slips. Very immature, unfair and unkind in my opinion!

havingastress Mon 14-Jan-13 14:03:56

I think awkward parents!

Lovely name, just awkward! Type of parents who give stress.

Sorry - you did ask! grin

Babygruffalosmum Mon 14-Jan-13 14:07:21

havingastress- really? Are you a teacher?

ClaraOswinOswald Mon 14-Jan-13 14:13:18

If I was the type of teacher to prejudge children based upon their names and I saw the name on a class list, I'd think it was a pretty name and that it belonged to someone petite, pretty and well behaved.

delilah88 Mon 14-Jan-13 14:13:44

Lovely name! I'd think she was v wanted by thoughtful parents who gave her a cool name.

Zavi Mon 14-Jan-13 14:39:15

Apologies in advance - but you have invited opinion!

This is a Chav name. Why? because it's almost certainly a "made up" name and Chavs like nothing better than to make up their own names or re-arrange the spellings of existing names. Or better still, do both at once! e.g. Chelsey.

Chav: Chardonnay, Chelsey, Brianna, Tyler, Shannon, Coleen, Kayleigh, Shawna; Brogan, Morgan, Brody, Flynn, Tyler, Lee, Wayne, Shane, Ryan, Bradley

Non-Chav: Elizabeth, Catherine, Sophie, Laura, Christine;
Henry, James, Michael, Thomas, Oliver

Sorry but Lyra is a "made up" name. Never heard of it before. Sounds a bit like Lycra.

I would put it in the same sort of name category as Kayla or Kyra. Made up. Chavvy.

delilah88 Mon 14-Jan-13 14:45:29

That's not true. It's a literary name, albeit a new one, from Philip Pulman's His Dark Materials trilogy.

CPtart Mon 14-Jan-13 14:46:51

I though Lycra too. A silly name IMO. Attention seeking parents springs to mind.


DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Mon 14-Jan-13 14:50:19

Wow! Seems to be split along the lines of 'have you read Philip Pullman or not'! I like fwiw

ladymia Mon 14-Jan-13 14:51:43

@delilah88 literary names can be made up too .. think Renesmee ;)

JoanByers Mon 14-Jan-13 14:55:14

I assumed it was a boy's name.

I also assumed it was Lycra.

GirlOutNumbered Mon 14-Jan-13 14:55:31

As a teacher, I would think hmm, lovely name perhaps hippy parents. Chav would not spring to mind.

ItsIcyOutsideIThinkINeedThorin Mon 14-Jan-13 14:56:45

I totally agree with Zavi's list of made-up chav names but I totally disagree that Lyra is one of those names! It's the name of a constellation - it's beautiful.

Babygruffalosmum Mon 14-Jan-13 14:58:15

It's not a made up name, I promise! Although uncommon it has been around for a while. Admittedly I'd never heard of it until I read the Northern Lights trilogy but after looking it up found middle age women called Lyra saying how much they love it. My son is Henry and Lyra's middle name is Joan. And I personally dislike all the names you've deemed as 'chavvy'. I don't think to be considered as having a non-chavvy name necessarily means it needs to conform to the more standard common names you've listed. Surely there's room for a little originality in names without being written off as a chav?

MordionAgenos Mon 14-Jan-13 14:59:34

The name 'Lyra' was not invented by Phillip Pullman. Lyra is the name of a constellation. It goes back to ancient Greek Myth.

Several of the names Zavi offers as examples of 'made up' names are in fact traditional names.

I presume Zavi was making a (crap) joke calling them all 'chavvy'.

havingastress Mon 14-Jan-13 15:00:30

babygruff Yes. I have also taught a Lyra. Poor little girl used to get teased.

"Liar Liar Pants on fire"

These were eight year olds. Lyra = Liar, not hard to make a word connection!

Mind you, most kids will find something to pick on. If it isn't about a name, it's about hair colour etc.

Maybe this is why I have the notion of awkward parents grin Sadly had to deal with them a lot as the poor little girl had such a bad time of it. Couldn't help but think, well you named her Lyra! It was a bad class that year though (lots of Konnors, Kaydens, Jaydens, Jaycee's etc etc) grin

disclaimer - contrary to what the Daily Mail says, not all teachers judge based on names. We do tend to make our own assessments. Interestingly though, 90% of the time, gut instinct based on name is correct!

Eskino Mon 14-Jan-13 15:02:21

It's from Greek mythology!! It's about as ancient a name as you can get!

JoanByers Mon 14-Jan-13 15:04:13

Surely "Lyra Lyra pants on Fira?"

Has a better ring to it

MordionAgenos Mon 14-Jan-13 15:04:52

@Eskino It seems that few people have the benefit of a classical education these days (or know much about astronomy). Now, I'd be much more comfortable judging people on those grounds than on the name their parents gave them. But that's just me.

OP - it's a beautiful name. It will make people who have read books smile. It will make people who know about astronomy smile. It doesn't sound funny, its lovely. Don't worry about it. If you find a teacher who thinks it's a problem suggest they reconsider their career.

havingastress Mon 14-Jan-13 15:05:10

I wouldn't consider it 'chavvy' though grin

GirlOutNumbered Mon 14-Jan-13 15:06:05

Kayden! Thats the most ridiculous name I ever heard. How can you tease a Lyra when he's around.

I find that these days children are far more tolerant of unusual names as so many children have them. As in, the name may be unusual, but its not unusual to have a strange name. IYSWIM. I have taught loads of students with stupid unusual names.

Agree on the disclaimer havingastress

JoanByers Mon 14-Jan-13 15:07:59

I can just imagine having to spell it on the phone for the rest of my life.

GirlOutNumbered Mon 14-Jan-13 15:09:43

But Joan I have to spell my name out every time and I'm a boring CLARE, CLAIRE, CLAIR!

havingastress Mon 14-Jan-13 15:15:28

Hey! I'm not eight! God knows what really goes on in their minds wink

OP I doubt very much you are judged by teachers. BUT in your post you asked what we would think. I've told you what I would think. Obviously can't talk for all teachers! Having said that, I doubt I'd actually give it much thought at all unless asked. Which you did. grin I'm far too busy planning, teaching, assessing and marking when I'm teaching.

ErikNorseman Mon 14-Jan-13 15:20:50

It's totally middle class. It's inspired by a fantasy novel, similar to Laura etc, generically pretty, it's archetypally middle class. Especially paired with Joan!

Babygruffalosmum Mon 14-Jan-13 15:22:56

I have to spell mine out and I'm a Polly, or people assume I said Holly because it's more popular. I got teased about far more for my name and I still love it. I'm sure my Lyra will feel the same regardless of liar or lycra comments. I got Polyester a couple of times and found it amusing as a child.

AmandaPayne Mon 14-Jan-13 15:25:19

It's nice. I know a baby Lyra with fairly posh parents!

Ignore, ignore. I love both my DD's names, but I adore DD2's name. It would have been the name for DD1 but she just didn't suit it when she came out. The things I have heard about it on MN are shocking. It's not called chavvy, but lots of other v unpleasant things. let it wash over you.

ladymia Mon 14-Jan-13 15:30:09

OP i really think you are just torturing yourself asking people's opinions on your child's name, a child that is already here and has had the name I assume for quite some time. You can't change it now anyways and who cares if others don't like it you obviously chose it because YOU do.

EuroShagmore Mon 14-Jan-13 15:30:16

I love it (and if we ever have a girl it will be in contention). Btw we are terribly middle class. We shop at Waitrose and everything.

Teladi Mon 14-Jan-13 15:31:25

Lyra's not 'made up', there were kids called Lyra before Pullman! Although not many, I'll admit. Lyra is a constellation name. Like Norma!

My DD has Lyra as one of her middle names. Her first name is frequently branded as pretentious on MN!

pookamoo Mon 14-Jan-13 15:39:57

How can "Morgan" be chavvy? It's the name of a British car manufacturer!

JoanByers Mon 14-Jan-13 15:47:53

like Rover?

pookamoo Mon 14-Jan-13 16:19:18

Rover ha ha, yes! I assume that was a person name as well as a dog name at some stage!

hopeful92 Mon 14-Jan-13 16:27:09

Well I think it's a beautiful name. And havingastress crossing things out at the bottom of you post doesn't make it any better. You should be ashamed of your judgemental, prejudiced attitude. I wonder what the parents of children you teach would think of your attitude towards judging their children based on their names... wow.

Lyra is a lovely name.

TillyTommyTootToot Mon 14-Jan-13 16:33:37

Middle or upper class! I'm a teacher and I have yet to be wrong regarding assumptions made about the child's class based on their name!

Shallishanti Mon 14-Jan-13 16:41:44

definitely not made up as everyone has said, I think it sounds nice, it passes the high court judge test- it would definitely make me think of Northern Lights, but that's fine as I think she's a great character- I think that book will have a long life, too, so an association that will continue. So I would assume the parents can read grin and enjoy high quality children's fiction

Alisvolatpropiis Mon 14-Jan-13 16:46:22

Lyra isn't one of those names though!

I twitch at some names to be perfectly honest and do make judgements.

But Lyra? It's most recently a literary name but is far older than that. It's like saying Serena is a made up chavvy name!

It's lovely OP.

Don't worry about the liar liar thing. Children will find ways to tease about anything. There was a boy a couple of years older than me at primary school and some of the kids in his year called him "Daniel Daniel cocker spaniel". No name is completely safe from the grubby mitts of inventive children!

Lovely name (another Pullman fan here) - if anything I'd assume middle class literati - but mostly I'd assume Pullman reader.

Zavi Mon 14-Jan-13 17:26:15

I will concede that since your other child is called Henry you can't be that chavvy. A bona fide Chav wouldn't dream of giving their sprog a name like Henry grin.

I am not persuaded by the "but it's a constellation" arguments on here. I've just googled the names of constellations and they are all, well, see for yourself but here's a taster (Castor and Pollux, Vega In, Achernar, Altair).

Most sound like characters from children's Sci-fi novels to me (especially beast quest)

To my uneducated mind (although I was schooled in the classics) the name lycra Lyra is not so much different as just plain, erm, weird.


Yika Mon 14-Jan-13 17:29:36

Lovely name, sounds pretty classless but still classy to me.

Babygruffalosmum Mon 14-Jan-13 17:51:31

Thanks guys for all the input. I'm not really concerned about other children teasing to be honest. I knew liar or lycra comments would come up from time to time but hey; children are like that. I'm sure she'll love reading the books that inspired her name and hopefully she'll love that there wont be loads of other Lyras in her class. She's a star and suits her name well.

Not worried if people don't like it, I just wondered how people saw it class wise. I'd thought it was classless originally, but maybe middle class now confused I'm fairly satisfied now that most teachers wouldn't single her out based on her name. Feel a bit sad that children can be, it wasn't something I'd thought about. We all stereotype, I just hope that all the Kaydens, Jaycees and Krystals out there don't get treated differently just because of parent's social status.

FWIW I'm from a middle class background but would describe my little family as working class as we aren't homeowners yet.

GirlOutNumbered Mon 14-Jan-13 17:58:16

Hang on a minute - we said we can guess what a child is like from their name not that we single them out or judge them. There is a big difference.

Babygruffalosmum Mon 14-Jan-13 18:03:42

Not you GirlOutNumbered We all stereotype, I do it too. I meant the teachers in the Dailymail article who were acting on those judgements!

VivaLeBeaver Mon 14-Jan-13 18:07:12

zavi. I know a chav kid called Henry, named after his dads barrister who managed to get him a relatively short sentence for some serious drug dealing.

Babygruffalosmum Mon 14-Jan-13 18:10:36

Viva that made me choke on my drink! grin

usualsuspect Mon 14-Jan-13 18:13:07

The people who think that certain names are chavvy or WC because thats what you mean, need to get the fuck over themselves.

MordionAgenos Mon 14-Jan-13 18:15:39

Viva you did exactly the same as Zavi there, you realise that, right? Judging a kid based on his parent's behaviour is no better than judging him based on his name.

everlong Mon 14-Jan-13 18:16:52

I find Lyra a bit weak and watery.

LaCiccolina Mon 14-Jan-13 18:19:57

Sounds like Lycra or that u can't spell lyla or leila.

Something about it tho. Wouldn't have said chavvy just not heard it or seen in books.

Branleuse Mon 14-Jan-13 18:21:48

its one of my favourite names

VivaLeBeaver Mon 14-Jan-13 18:22:34

Never said I was judging the kid based on his parents behaviour at all.

Babygruffalosmum Mon 14-Jan-13 18:23:17

everlong my mother's objection to it when I first said it was that it was too harsh and hard. Although she grew to love it. Funny how some names are considered 'weak' and some 'hard'. I don't think it so much for girl's names but have thought about it for boys.

MordionAgenos Mon 14-Jan-13 18:52:14

Viv you called him a chav kid. Even if you were basing that judgement on his own behaviour I would suggest that at the very most you are competent to judge him as a criminal (if he has ever convicted). And criminal!=chav

I've yet to meet a chav. I doubt I ever will. This is because I'm not a judgemental bigot.

VivaLeBeaver Mon 14-Jan-13 19:14:05

I'm not judgemental, I'm just perceptive. grin

VivaLeBeaver Mon 14-Jan-13 19:16:37

And the courts judged him as a criminal not me.

You seem to be assuming that I wouldn't like them or would treat them differently because of who they are. Far from it, his mother is one of my best mates.

Callyfornication Mon 14-Jan-13 19:23:48

I thought of the William Blake poem, but upon Googling, that's Lyca. I'd assume a Lyra plays piano and has a brother called Seth.

MordionAgenos Mon 14-Jan-13 19:59:52

I suspect you wouldn't be one of her best mates if she knew you were describing her son as a chat on the Internet. I certainly wouldn't want to know anyone who used that word to describe anyone, let alone one of my kids.

VivaLeBeaver Mon 14-Jan-13 20:11:30

She calls herself a chav and laughs about it.

Seriously think you need to lighten up.

Coconutty Mon 14-Jan-13 20:19:58

I try not to judge class on name alone.

I wouldnt go for Lyra due to the liar issue.

Bambi86 Tue 15-Jan-13 18:18:24

Makes me think of "His Dark Materials" by Phillip Pullman. My favourite book of all time, brings back lovely nostalgia smile

It's a beautiful name. It will make people who have read books smile. It will make people who know about astronomy smile

^^ this

Frikadellen Tue 15-Jan-13 18:37:07

I Think it is a lovely name but not classless for me. For me it is a Middleclass name.

IMO i dont think your dd's future teachers will think much of it as a name it will be a " oh ok" one I belive.

MrsApplepants Tue 15-Jan-13 18:47:51

I don't think it belongs to any particular class but I don't like it because it sounds too much like lycra.

Viviennemary Tue 15-Jan-13 19:18:32

Don't like it very much I'm afraid. It sounds like a made-up name which it isn't. Not everybody is up on their Greek mythology. grin

NC78 Wed 16-Jan-13 11:44:34

Very middle class. Wouldn't dream of burdening my child with such a poncey name.

overthehill Sat 19-Jan-13 23:58:57

We really like the name Lyra, so much so that this is what we called our cat. She is beautiful and tortoiseshell and the name really suits her - and is much more distinguished than Pudding, which was on her identichip (her colouring is quite Christmas-pudding-like but also like a constellation!).

ProtegeMoi Sun 20-Jan-13 00:05:42

I love it, it was our second choice for DD, we went with Evelyn in the end.

Chumpster Sun 20-Jan-13 00:15:48

I don't like the name because a little girl callled lyra once put a handful of soil down dd's knicks. Dd was very upset. I can't be objective about that name anymore.

Chumpster Sun 20-Jan-13 00:17:39

Sorry that wasn't the question. It's classless.

PoppyAmex Sun 20-Jan-13 08:12:53

In Latin languages it's a musical instrument, similar to harps.

It reminds me of harps or the old Italian currency (albeit different spelling)

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